The assistant fire chief with the Lewes Fire Department is suspended from his volunteer position pending an investigation into a homophobic comment he made on social media.
In a Facebook post, Bill Buckaloo is accused of making derogatory comments against the LGBTQ community, using an anti-gay slur, to describe a well-known local drag queen Magnolia Applebottom, while attending a performance at Blue Moon in Rehoboth Beach. The post post has been widely circulated on social media.
In a statement, the Lewes Fire Department said it's investigating the matter and does not condone the comments. They added:
"Lewes Fire Department’s membership is diverse and lives within the community they serve working daily with the public to provide education and assistance emergently and non-emergently to its citizens. The department is proud of its long-standing history of protecting the community and will work diligently in restoring any confidence lost by Mr. Buckaloo’s comments."
Here's their full statement:
In response, Applebottom posted on Instagram:
"What a sad turn of events...the @lewes_fire chief thought it was ok to go to a gay owned and operated establishment...and go to a show hosted and produced by a award winning gay entertainer and use that F word on social media... Your job is to protect the people in our community not bring us down. Do better!!! Be better!!! And we recognize your inappropriate behavior."
Buckaloo issued an apology on Facebook, on Nov. 16, 2020:
"I made a very inappropriate comment last night on a post. I want to sincerely apologize for my distasteful choice of words. I definitely displayed a lack of good character and judgement. I offended a lot of people including myself. I have no excuse what's so ever [sic]. I am truly sorry for all the harm I have caused."
Buckaloo was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct in 2018 after he was caught on-camera urinating off a dock and climbing on boats while intoxicated at the Lewes Harbor Marina. At that time, he apologized to the community on Facebook.